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Melodifestivalen 2017: Heat 2 Betting Preview

Off to Malmö now which usually brings a more ethnic flavour to the lineup; cue some reggae and rap along with three more returnees to the contest.

Heat 2: Malmö – February 14th

1. Mariette – A Million Years

Mariette is the second artist to benefit from the reuniting of G:son and Boström. Finishing third in 2015 with the Miss Li-penned Don’t Stop Believing, she returns with A Million Years, which is reported to be more pacy in style. Mariette hasn’t released music since My Revolution over a year ago, so this return to Melfest could be a way of revitalising her career, though first in the running order might see her shunted to andra chansen. David Lindgren qualified from slot 1 last year, but he benefitted from a massive TV profile. You then have to go back to 2014 where Alcazar and Yohio qualified from the first slot; again, both had huge profiles and a motivated fanbase.

Press screening: Slow build. It’s an indie Euphoria with EDM chorus and clear hook. In contention.

2. Roger Pontare – Himmel Och Hav

The Melfest 2000 winner returns with what is described as an ethnic/orchestral ballad. Something tells me Pontare doesn’t have G:son’s best song this year, and being up against stiff competition, it’s wise to look elsewhere for value in this heat.

Press screening: Not very modern. Bit of a campfire song.

3. Etzia – Up 

Etzia will be hoping Melfest viewers enjoy her brand of reggae. I’m less positive for Etzia’s chances here, however, Malmö is probably the best location to perform this genre. Etzia has suggested a poppier reggae song, which she’ll need to overcome this poor running order slot.

Press screening: Dancehall meets Kizunguzungu. Shakira –  This Time for Africa.

4. Allyawan – Vart Haru Varit

Like Etzia, Allyawan is bringing an alternative sound to a popular music contest. Again, Malmö is the perfect city to host this genre, though I can’t imagine the rest of Sweden taking to him. He does have a dedicated following, so in the slim chance his song appeals to a broader church, I wouldn’t oppose him for andra chansen without hearing the song. Genre: Midtempo-Ballad.

Press screening: RnB/rap. Hook not strong enough.

 5. Dismissed – Hearts Align

Time for this year’s dose of rock and one that could surprise given their colourful live performances – they’re sure to be memorable! They have Ark frontman, Ola Salo, in the writing team along with Melfest regular, Peter Kvint, who has credits with Darin, Yohio and A-ha. Kvint and Salo collaborated last year on Sing Me Out, which was performed during the andra chansen interval. I think we’ll get something equally anthemic for this year’s Melfest, so they shouldn’t be Dismissed.

Press screening: Bit of an album track. Capable of andra chansen.

 6. Lisa Ajax – I Don’t Give A

With the Debs and Anton Hard af Segerstad in the writing team, it’s comes as no surprise that people are talking up Lisa Ajax as the one to beat in this year’s lineup. Last year’s song had a killer chorus, but the package was a little safe and stale compared to the eventual top-4. There are also concerns over Lisa’s likability and ability to sell a song, and that’s the challenge facing Lisa and her all star team of writers; can they improve enough upon last year to make Lisa a genuine contender? I have taken some of the early high-teens odds available, but can’t recommend current sub-10/1 prices until we hear the song, but given she beat pimp-slotted Oscar Zia from 5th in the running order last year, qualification should be routine given the writers. Genre: Midtempo-Ballad.

BACK LISA AJAX DIREKT – 20/21 @ UNIBET

Press screening: Better than last year. Influenced by Sia and Ariana Grande.

 7. Benjamin Ingrosso – Good Loovin’

Benjamin is like an older Frans but with a better vocal. There are slight Bieber musical influences too, though I don’t think any of Ingrosso’s releases to date are capable of winning Melfest. However, he did win Lilla Melfest in 2006 with Hej Sofia, which also reminds me of Frans. Even so, his Australian writing team could be the difference. Schoorl has written songs for Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian (Tonight Again), Dami Im and The Fooo, who appear in heat 3. At this point, I think Benjamin is knocking on the door for qualification and the 5/2 available at the time of the running order publication did appeal. I wouldn’t recommend taking lower until the snippets are released. Just a note on popularity, Benjamin won the Swedish version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014. Genre: Energetic Uptempo

Press screening: Modern soulful pop song that Justin Timberlake would release.

Mariette’s A Million Years is the only song showing any potential for the final. Lisa Ajax hasn’t met the pre-show hype, but the staging looks good and her fanbase is extremely motivated. Ingrosso’s Good Lovin’ really doesn’t do it for me. The song has this plodding beat and  the he looks laboured on screen. The Justin Timberlake comparisons are quite wide of the mark.

It’s a difficult week given we have three songs vying for the two direkt places. Had Ajax or Ingrosso been singing from slot 1, I doubt they could be considered for direkt qualification, whereas Mariette should qualify from that position.

Friday prediction:

  1. Mariette
  2. Lisa Ajax
  3. Benjamin Ingrosso
  4. Dismissed

Who’s on your qualification list in Malmö?

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About Gavster

Owner & Chief Editor   I’m a qualified designer and the official geek in the crew, dedicating most of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

13 comments

  1. I backed Benjamin on the outright as soon as i saw the running order at big odds so hope he can make the final one way or the other.Balancing the book would be pretty easy then so fingers crossed.
    I backed Lisa Ajax as soon as i could at prices down to 13s.Thats as low as id go at this stage,but i rate her highly.I actually loved My Heart Wants me Dead,though i know others didnt.I thought her delivery was very strong,but agree with Gav she needs to be more likeable.Wiktoria stole her thunder last year in that department and had a better song.The team no doubt know that and a mid tempo ballad is a calculated risk to make Lisa look a bit more vulnerable and likeable.If it works she should challenge.

  2. So, as it turns out, Lisa’s song actually DOES have foul language in it. Behold: http://www.svt.se/melodifestivalen/bidragsbibeln-melodifestivalen-2017-lisa-ajax-i-don-t-give-a

    I’m not exactly sure this is going to make her seem more likable…

  3. Just from the snippets I’m thinking Benjamin and Mariette Direkt, Lisa Ajax to Andra Chansen maybe with Dismissed.

    Got a good feel for most of them from the clips, need to hear A Million Years in full though to judge whether it’s a semi winner or Andra Chansen song, could go either way.

    • I agree, I laid Lisa and backed Benjamin in the Semi 2 DTF market.

      Doesn’t help that from the pics, Lisa has a giant screen with her face on it. Rubs me up the wrong way as a visual package.

  4. The Mariette clip doesn’t tell the whole story – though the fact it’s a minute before the chorus hits might be a story in itself. Benjamin Ingrosso is horribly generic but pimp slot and his popularity means he needs respect. Lisa’s song should be lifted by her delivery so it remains quite the dilemma this semi.

  5. So all of the rehearsal snippets are now available on the MF Facebook page, my first instincts were proved correct. Lisa’s stage show just doesn’t come across well on screen to me (maybe a little conceited?)

    Also Mariette seems to be the clear winner on the SVT poll so far, so maybe she could beat the odds and go DTF? I think so.

    • Mariette sounds the most polished, but the seriously reminds me of Charles&Eddie’s “Would I lie to you”. Due to her popularity, it should defy the first slot…

  6. I really love lisa and Roger but unfortunately, I think that it will end like this:

    1. Mariete
    2. ingrosso
    3. lisa ajax
    4. dismissed

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